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Analysis Of Edgar Allen Poe's "Alone"

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"From childhood's hour I have not been

As others were; I have not seen

As others saw; I could not bring

My passions from a common spring.

From the same source I have not taken

My sorrow; I could not awaken

My heart to joy at the same tone;

And all I loved, I loved alone.

Then- in my childhood, in the dawn

Of a most stormy life- was drawn

From every depth of good and ill

The mystery which binds me still:

From the torrent, or the fountain,

From the red cliff of the mountain,

From the sun that round me rolled

In its autumn tint of gold,

From the lightning in the sky

As it passed me flying by,

From the thunder and the storm,

And the cloud that took the form

(When the rest of Heaven was blue)

Of a demon in my view"

- Edgar Allan Poe

"Alone," the simple yet complex poem by Edgar Allan Poe, can be viewed to be born from many different origins. What we do know about the poem is that it is simply beautiful. Even though its beauty is known by the contrasting metaphors and what not, we do have to take notice in why he wrote such a thing. Was it as a basis of telling us his thoughts or was it just for our entertainment? To me, "Alone" is a direct view of Poe's life and his hardships that came from it. His constant struggles and losses geared him into what he was during his time and in this poem, he expresses that very same thing. He takes notice in the bad and the good of every event. "Alone" is the epitome of Poe's thinking and his view of himself in the eyes of the public.

From what we know about Poe, he was within himself; meaning that he didn't seek outside help on his troubles and struggles but sought his own way of dealing with it. With the lines in the poem:

"From childhood's hour I have not been

As others were; I have not seen

As others saw; I could not bring

My passions from a common spring."

We can say that Poe knew from a young age that he was different from other people. He knew that he was on the left side of the psychological plane while others were on the right. The things that made others happy, did not have the same effect on Poe. "My passion from a common spring" tells us exactly that when we read the poem. The passage tells us basically that while others thought more of the optimistic "bright side," he was sure to differ with his pessimistic thoughts.

In the poem, Poe explains that since he was a child, there was something different about him; something "special." He didn't view life as others did or did have the same interests as others. The line "And all I loved - I loved alone" reinforces that statement. He uses a series of symbolic metaphors to show that even in the good sense or the bad sense, he stayed the same. "From the depth of good and ill" gives you the indication of this. His judgment was never swayed from outside sources. For example, "From the torrent, or the fountain" gives you the positive and negative views of the element water. The positive as if it was something like a fountain and the negative as if it was something of a deadly storm. He used this to show that in both, he would stay true to who he was; that he was indifferent to the matter at hand.

From lines 9 through 12, we can figure that Poe did not have such an easy childhood. "In the dawn," meaning at the very beginning of his life, there were certain events that made him into what he is, "Of a most stormy life was drawn." This can be due to the traumatic happenings that plagued his life through his years. "From every good and ill" tell us that when there was good and bad, he was always consumed by the darkness or "mystery" that bound his still. With events such as these, Poe made it known to him, that his darkness is forever and that he was not to let anything spectacular pull his away from the reality of it all. He was never in denial of his shortcomings; he accepted them and, even though some decisions may be frowned upon, sought a way to clear his mind of it.

In the last two lines of the poem, we come to realize that there could have been something to trigger why Poe was different than others. "And the cloud that took the form" gives us the impression that there was a dramatic twist in Poe's life that made him into what he was until the day he died. Every negative event, every heartbreak were all a different "cloud" in Poe's sky which, as a result, made him accept life in a different light than others; a darker light. That certain "demon in his view" cannot be determined but it makes us think that it was due to a lost love, sending us back to the line "And all I loved - I loved alone."

"Alone" could be based upon the death



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